Backers of an initiative petition in Washington that would have allowed cigar smoking in cigar bars, cigar stores and private clubs said they've come up short in obtaining the required number of signatures to put the measure on a state ballot.
Initiative 1016 supporters said they gathered 213,000 signatures but fell 12,000 short of the 225,000 required by July 3. Supporters called the current ban on smoking "draconian."
"The current ban is not fair to owners and customers of cigar stores and cigar bars and members of private clubs ... This is as much a matter of supporting personal rights and fairness as anything else," said Joe Arundel, initiative sponsor and owner of Rain City Cigar in Seattle, in a statement.
He added that supporters will ask state legislators in January to change the laws that currently prohibit smoking in cigar bars, stores and private clubs.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008